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Virtuoso

Hating Windows 8 = Hating New Technology...?

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Gizmondo features an interesting article at the moment which I found quite challenging to my perceptions of myself as a geek.

 

The writer notes that many people who have never used the new early prototype Windows tablet have been dissing it. But the writer says that, when you consider the technological advances offered in the new Metro interface, Windows 8 is going to be 'amazing'. (Advanced gesture-based computing, pen-based handwriting recognition which works, running two apps at once in snap state, the ease of Metro app development.) He says, "it’s profound". He says that "if you’re not intrigued by Windows 8 and Metro, and if you can’t recognise that it’s a big leap forward, and if you’re not excited about what it means for you, personally; then you don’t really care about technology".

 

It's an interesting idea. Is it true, do you think?

 

Personally, I can barely be bothered reading about Windows 8. I've lived through the Windows "pre-launch hype followed by post-launch disappointment" cycle so many times now, I frankly disbelieve most claims made at this point in the development cycle about how wonderful the new version will be. I now expect not to receive most of the fantastic new things that I'm told will be in the release (Vista's fantastic new relational file system, anyone?) and resign myself to the fact that they'll most likely just change the start menu again, modify the window commands and control panels in mildly irritating ways, make the eye candy a bit shinier, shovel in some marginally useful utiltities that were previously provided by 3rd parties, and try to play catchup with whatever Apple or Google introduced two years ago. But hopefully be more stable than the previous version.

 

Does my 'lack of interest in what is being promised' make me a 'bad geek'...? Maybe it does. Or maybe it's just some kind of defence mechanism against the anger and disappointment I've experienced so often before, in booting up a new version of Windows, only to find that it doesn't live up to the pre-launch hype, and that half my peripherals no longer work the way they used to.

 

Certainly, in other areas of technology, I continue to be fascinated by technology, and what it can, does and will do.

 

Anyway, how about you?

Edited by Virtuoso

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Well, Gizmodo itself isn't geeky, they're just click trolls who think they can analyse things simply because they can string words into a sentence. But looking past that, I think accepting this developer preview as amazing just because it's a new take at UI is just plain silly. I've used it, I've expressed my opinion in the appropriate thread. In short, I wasn't too impressed (on a desktop machine). I understand what they're trying to achieve, but it's a mess right now.

 

Does this mean I fail at being a 'geek'? No, it means I've become immune to the shit they put in the kool-aid. That being said, I do think people should try it before judging it. I'll take another look closer to release.

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Ironically, the term "geek" was first used as an insult to those who were smarter (and weren't afraid to let everyone else know that they were). Now people are worried that they aren't geeky enough. Strange times we live in.

 

I haven't tested Win 8. I'm usually one of the 1st to find and use new OS's, but frankly, Win 8 (from everything I've read and the videos where they emphasize the stupid touch screen technology which will make people's arms and backs ache quickly) doesn't appeal to me in the least.

 

And for the record, if that makes me less of a geek, I can live with that quite comfortably. :-)

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I've given it a test drive and to me it really does feel like a tablet interface. It's not really my thing, but who knows it's early days yet so i look forward to see what the final revision will be like. Either way i'm super happy with windows 7!

 

I'm as geeky as ever, but i also know to go for the good stuff and leave the crap for the masses!

Edited by smakme7757

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(from everything I've read and the videos where they emphasize the stupid touch screen technology which will make people's arms and backs ache quickly)

Right, because the best and most obvious way to implement touch based input is to haphazardly tack it on to the status quo desktop layout.

 

With all due respect, you're one of the people Gizmodo is talking about. Way too comfortably habitual to even entertain the idea of a new paradigm for computer usage. And I don't mean that in a mean-spirited way at all, it's something that 99% of the industry is guilty of. Us humans are creatures of habit! ;)

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I read that earlier today, I don't agree with it. Just because 'geeks' don't like a new technology doesn't make them not care about technology; just the opposite. Typical geeks, such as you or I, dislike Windows 8 Dev Preview's interface for specific reasons - it's less efficient at displaying information, it abstracts control over running applications and diffuses it all behind an interface more suited to a 10" screen. Among other contentious changes that each have real reasons as to why we dislike them.

 

If we didn't like W8DP because it was 'different' then we'd be haters of technology. If it was just that it wasn't the same, it'd be irrational.

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Typical geeks, such as you or I, dislike Windows 8 Dev Preview's interface for specific reasons - it's less efficient at displaying information, it abstracts control over running applications and diffuses it all behind an interface more suited to a 10" screen. Among other contentious changes that each have real reasons as to why we dislike them.

I agree that those who've looked at it, and rationally decided that they don't like it because of X, Y or Z, are certainly not lacking geek credentials. (In fact, quite the opposite.)

 

 

 

 

 

With all due respect, you're one of the people Gizmodo is talking about. Way too comfortably habitual to even entertain the idea of a new paradigm for computer usage. And I don't mean that in a mean-spirited way at all, it's something that 99% of the industry is guilty of. Us humans are creatures of habit! ;)

Fair call. That's why I said I found the article personally challenging. I'm 'meh' about Windows 8 - on the basis of prior letdowns - but just maybe that has closed my mind to the possibility that it's actually going to be revolutionary.

 

(I wouldn't go so far to say though that I'm 'too comfortable to entertain the idea of a new paradigm for computer usage'. As evidence, I recently bought my first Android tablet and phone, and am having fun working out how that OS and device works etc.)

 

 

Is GeekModo even Geeky?? or just Journalistic?

They certainly seem to love Apple products, which seems incongruous for a tech site, given Apple was always the 'tech company for non-geeks'. Mind you, as Apple have been driving/innovating in the device market for 10 years, that prior perception of them being non-geek probably needs to be retired now.

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it abstracts control over running applications

It does, but is that intrinsically a bad thing for the user experience?

 

The age-old instinct to close an application when you're done with it is due to two things. The first is that historically, RAM was scarce, and expensive to expand. The second is that we're used to the idea of "minimising" an application simply meaning it was out of view temporarily, and was a separate concept to closing an application, meaning it's no longer running and will appear in a fresh state on the next launch.

 

The new idea is firstly that RAM is plentiful and cheap, so why not utilise it? Secondly, when a Metro application is hidden from view, the OS "suspends" the task, meaning it consumes zero CPU cycles, and if RAM does get tight, the OS will ask the application to save its state to disk and close "for realsies". Of course, the programmer can code their application such that if it needs to continue running in the background (for example, a music player), it will reject the OS's request to suspend or close.

 

(As a side note, it's this type of functionality that this Developer Preview exists to demonstrate, it's not for "computer people" to impress their rellies with "the new Windows that's not out yet!!!")

 

What you end up with is a user experience very similar to a smartphone, where the emphasis is on the activity rather than the application, and flicking between activities is quick and seamless, but still resource conscious.

Edited by SquallStrife

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Is GeekModo even Geeky?? or just Journalistic?

They certainly seem to love Apple products, which seems incongruous for a tech site, given Apple was always the 'tech company for non-geeks'. Mind you, as Apple have been driving/innovating in the device market for 10 years, that prior perception of them being non-geek probably needs to be retired now.

 

It's not even the Apple hype, it's the shit like this (by Alyssa Bereznak, I took a screenshot to deprive them of hits for this rubbish). There's a lot of crap along the same lines of this, like the tripe from Jesus Diaz in this article. To be fair, the Australian site is a lot better. Edited by .:Cyb3rGlitch:.

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(I wouldn't go so far to say though that I'm 'too comfortable to entertain the idea of a new paradigm for computer usage'. As evidence, I recently bought my first Android tablet and phone, and am having fun working out how that OS and device works etc.)

I see what you're saying, but I think we can generally accept in our minds that a device we don't call a PC will work differently to what we do call a PC.

 

We're very much used to dealing with discrete always-running applications in dialogue boxes (an idea that has been largely unchanged since the 70s), it's not surprising that the old boys are uncomfortable with such a different approach.

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I have not tried Win8 myself. I have read many reviews of it, though. Frankly, there sounds like a lot that will drive me up the wall, and very little I would like.

 

I know some people are change-phobic, but I'm not one of them. What does shit me off, though, is 'new' being enough of a reason for retailers to force me to spend money I have better uses for, then spend time I also have better uses for relearning how to do what I do quite well already. If there's a new thing to do (that I think I might like), or a better way to do an existing thing, then fair enough but "it's been 3 years and we need more money" is not sufficient.

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What does shit me off, though, is 'new' being enough of a reason for retailers to force me to spend money I have better uses for, then spend time I also have better uses for relearning how to do what I do quite well already.

Why do you think so many people still run Pentium 4 systems with Windows XP? ;)

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(I wouldn't go so far to say though that I'm 'too comfortable to entertain the idea of a new paradigm for computer usage'. As evidence, I recently bought my first Android tablet and phone, and am having fun working out how that OS and device works etc.)

I see what you're saying, but I think we can generally accept in our minds that a device we don't call a PC will work differently to what we do call a PC.

 

We're very much used to dealing with discrete always-running applications in dialogue boxes (an idea that has been largely unchanged since the 70s), it's not surprising that the old boys are uncomfortable with such a different approach.

 

That's the thing though, it's different, but is it better? I'm still not convinced that Microsoft can nail this concept on the desktop.

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Why do you think so many people still run Pentium 4 systems with Windows XP? ;)

No, I know that: they browse the web and do email, and that's about it. XP is great at that, and the hardware of the time is far more than enough.

 

Probably, quite a few of that demographic would have moved to the next OS iteration when it happened, except that that iteration happened to be Vista which (rightly or wrongly) had the reputation for being shitful. After sticking with their stuff until 7 came out, they realised it was quite enough for their purposes.

 

Me, my hardware was due for retirement at about the time that 7 arrived, so I took the leap to 64-bit. That hardware is still more than adequate for everything I've thrown at it, so I see no reason to spend up on new touchscreens that won't work with what I want to do just so I can use a tablet-oriented OS.

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Now I haven't looked at Win 8 but to me a touch screen interface for a PC is a bit bloody stupid with monitors getting larger and larger. Who wants to sit within arms length of 24" plus screen just so they can reach the bloody thing without leaning forwards all the time?

Now if you coupled the large monitor with a small desktop touchscreen or tablet that controls the PC you might have something. Say similar to what soundgraph have done with their FingerVU wireless monitor set.

http://www.soundgraph.com/humminwlms-feature-en/

Great for an HTPC, or large display PC used for web browsing and the like.

Hopeless for games and such where more precise pointer control is needed.

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Now if you coupled the large monitor with a small desktop touchscreen or tablet that controls the PC you might have something.

Interesting idea. Sounds not unlike the new Wii 2 controller they're introducing.

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Interesting idea. Sounds not unlike the new Wii 2 controller they're introducing.

Ye probably see more of this sort of thing where a tablet PC has the ability to be the touch control interface (via wireless, bluetooth or even USB jack (which could also charge the tablet)) to a bigger desktop or home theatre PC.

This would make sense of the windows 8 interface styles.

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What's with all this touch input GUI on desktop OS's lately?

Ubuntu did the same with Unity, and I haven't used it since...

 

And what percentage of the worlds PC's even have touch input, it would have to be less that 1%, so why make a whole GUI based around the idea that people will use it on a computer with a touch screen?

 

I wouldn't mind it if they made it easy to revert to a standard GUI but so far it's not looking likely.

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it abstracts control over running applications

It does, but is that intrinsically a bad thing for the user experience?

 

The age-old instinct to close an application when you're done with it is due to two things. The first is that historically, RAM was scarce, and expensive to expand. The second is that we're used to the idea of "minimising" an application simply meaning it was out of view temporarily, and was a separate concept to closing an application, meaning it's no longer running and will appear in a fresh state on the next launch.

 

The new idea is firstly that RAM is plentiful and cheap, so why not utilise it? Secondly, when a Metro application is hidden from view, the OS "suspends" the task, meaning it consumes zero CPU cycles, and if RAM does get tight, the OS will ask the application to save its state to disk and close "for realsies". Of course, the programmer can code their application such that if it needs to continue running in the background (for example, a music player), it will reject the OS's request to suspend or close.

 

(As a side note, it's this type of functionality that this Developer Preview exists to demonstrate, it's not for "computer people" to impress their rellies with "the new Windows that's not out yet!!!")

 

What you end up with is a user experience very similar to a smartphone, where the emphasis is on the activity rather than the application, and flicking between activities is quick and seamless, but still resource conscious.

Perhaps not for the majority of users, but power users are very distrusting of memory hogs - personally I'm worried that any apps from the app store that aren't coded properly may sit in memory until system restart, or may not suspend properly, or any of those uncertainties.

 

With how programs are now they're either running or they're not; we've got control over that. I don't like giving up that control to an OS.

 

I use an android phone, have done for quite a while now, and I still dislike how it manages memory. HTC Desire, not exactly a low-end model, and any time a game is launched it dumps the homescreen/launcher out of memory as well as anything else it thinks isn't useful - even if the game doesn't need any more space! Leading to loading and patience when I'm finished with the game.

Now if you coupled the large monitor with a small desktop touchscreen or tablet that controls the PC you might have something.

Interesting idea. Sounds not unlike the new Wii 2 controller they're introducing.
I'd be happier with that idea, especially as a content digestion device eg email, RSS, twitter. Select the content on the tablet, swipe it off the screen and it pops up on the main screen.

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I find it a little curious, I guess. I see it as analogous to windows 95/98/XP, back when people were decrying the integration of internet abilities as some passing fad that was forcing them to relearn their desktops.

 

I don't expect Win8 to necessarily hit the nail on the head, first go, but as convergence really starts to speed up, it's obvious that the decades-old UI concept of point-and-click desktops and small icons and mouse-centric interactions is not going to translate to chubby fingers. This is the definition of a paradigm shift. This is what has me interested in Win8 - not the pre-beta developer snapshot that doesn't include lots of things. Not the touch APIs and new UI elements that can mostly be ignored if you're not using a touch device.

 

This is MS's first pass at this kind of integration. It needs to happen, even if people don't upgrade to it, just so that they get usage data and etc to make the next version more coherent.

 

We don't need to be excited by a product to be excited by the concepts it represents, and people seem to be getting all Negative Nancy on both, rather than just the former.

 

As far as big screens and touch capability goes, I'm even more surprised at some of the negative reception. I would love for my 24" scren to be touch capable. I think a 24" tablet - and a 24" screen certainly has enough room behind it to hold reasonable hardware - would be awesome, because you get the advantage of 1080p media and you also get the advantage of it filling up large portions of your FOV.

 

I'd be happier with that idea, especially as a content digestion device eg email, RSS, twitter. Select the content on the tablet, swipe it off the screen and it pops up on the main screen.

I haven't looked at the current state of play too carefully, but weren't HP the only ones to pick up on that?

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As far as big screens and touch capability goes, I'm even more surprised at some of the negative reception. I would love for my 24" scren to be touch capable. I think a 24" tablet - and a 24" screen certainly has enough room behind it to hold reasonable hardware - would be awesome, because you get the advantage of 1080p media and you also get the advantage of it filling up large portions of your FOV.

You must have massively long arms then Nich. At my comfortable viewing distance for a 24" screen I would have to lean a fair way forward every time I wanted to touch the screen.

I also do worry about the dreaded "greasy finger" problem. See enough of this with the odd person who insists on touching the screen at the Access Centre when they are pointing something out to someone else.

Gahyuck, 'orrible smudged monitors.

 

This is why I think the small "daughter"screen concept (either dedicated or through Ipad, tablet, smart phone or whatever device) may be the goer for normal large touch screen PC use.

 

I also would not like to be trying to type on a desktop touch screen keyboard

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So is Windows8 not for the gaming sector ,but more inclined to the tablets.

Yes and no. But really i dont understand what the fuss is all about. OSX is now pretty much a ISO clone with launch control and the Dock.

 

 

People dont need a desktop anymore and its inevitable that this will change I've been playing with it and I quiet like it just like my windows 7 phone.

 

I mean most people care only care about facebook, youtube, music , google.

 

 

 

edit: WTF ENGLISH.

Edited by mudg3

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